Castilla power station

From Global Energy Monitor


The Castilla power station was a proposed 2,100 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station to be operated by MPX Energia SA near Copiapó in Chile's Atacama region.


The map below shows Copiapó, the approximate location where the plant was to be built.

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The plant was approved in Feb. 2011 by Chile’s environment regulator. It would have reportedly cost $4.4 billion, and was to be built on the Pacific Coast 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Santiago, to feed into Chile’s central power grid and serve northern Chile’s copper mines. MPX's owner, billionaire Eike Batista, said Castilla would become the largest power station in Chile.[1]

The power plant was to be developed in 350 MW modules, with an independent water desalination plant. Power from the new power station was to supply the Central Interconnected System ("SIC"), Chile's most important electric grid. A competitive advantage of the power plant would have been its integration with a dedicated, deep-water port that would help ensure an efficient coal supply at competitive costs. The port, an EBX Group Project, was granted an environmental license in December 2010[2], a decision upheld by the Appeals Court of Antofagasta in early 2012.[3]

On August 28, 2012, Chile’s Supreme Court rejected plans to build the plant and the associated port, ruling that the project’s Brazilian and German investors failed to prove they could protect the surrounding environment. MPX had promised $575 million to mitigate pollution from the plant, which would have been 2,100 megawatts by 2020, but the court found MPX failed to persuade Chileans they could live with the contamination.[4][5]

Public opposition

In September 2010, roughly 2000 people gathered for a march protesting the Castilla plant.[6] In November 2010, a poll conducted by the conservative Jaime Guzman Foundation found that a large majority of the Chilean population disapproved of the plant, and were willing to pay more for environmentally friendly energy, a figure that increased in the upper classes. The poll was included interviews with 506 people across the country's Metropolitan Region.[7][8]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: E.ON & MPX
  • Location: Copiapó, Atacama, Chile
  • Coordinates: -27.3666667, -70.3333333 (approximate)
  • Status: Canceled
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 350MW
    • Unit 2: 350MW
    • Unit 3: 350MW
    • Unit 4: 350MW
    • Unit 5: 350MW
    • Unit 6: 350MW

Articles and resources


  1. "Batista’s MPX Wins Approval for $4.4 Billion Chile Project" Bloomberg, February 25, 2011.
  2. "Corema aprobó puerto de termoeléctrica Castilla". Fundación Terram. December 22, 2010.
  3. "Se aprueba el puerto que abastecerá a la termoeléctrica Castilla". Plataforma Urbana. February 2, 2012.
  4. "Chile court blocks Batista’s power project," The Financial Times, August 29, 2012.
  5. "Chile top court rejects $5 bln Castilla power project," Reuters, August 28, 2012.
  6. "Masiva protesta de organizaciones sociales en contra de Termoeléctrica Castilla en Copiapó - La Tercera". La Tercera. September 4, 2010.
  7. "Información y discusión pública sobre temas energéticos y ambientales". Central Energía. December 17, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Aprobando el Puerto Castilla, Gobierno de Piñera apoya construcción de termoeléctrica de millonario brasileño". OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales). December 23, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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External resources